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Sway bars


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Reason01

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 06:15 AM

I want to get bigger front and rear sway bars on my 97 Legacy GT sedan. Is 22mm for the front and back ok? does it even matter at all?

#2 Commuter

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 08:57 AM

I put a Whiteline adjustable rear swaybar on my 97 OB. I think it is 18, 20, 22 IIRC. I'd definitely look for an adjustable for the rear so you have some way of balancing things out. I can't help you with the front really. I'm not sure what is available.

While you are at it, I'd recommend the hairpin rear endlinks. Very pleased with mine. Not a sound from them.

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#3 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 11:18 AM

From wht I've read, the front bar is OK but replacing the front links might be a good idea. The rear bar should probably be 18-19-20 or so. Kinda depens on your goals, and other mods. Don't forget tires. If you are going for xtreem street or racing suspension, try reading some of the trheads at www.nasioc.com, www.i-club.com and www.subaruoutback.org

#4 blitz

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 01:17 PM

I'll second the recommendation for the adjustable rear bar. I've got a Whiteline 20-22-24 on my '02 OBS and have it set to 20mm on one side and 22mm on the other. Why? One side needed more than the other to achieve the same neutrality in a left or right corner.

Also the biggest PITA about a performance sway bar are the urethane bushings that reqire constant greasing (especially in a wet and/or salt-laden environment), so get greasable bushings with zerk fittings. Energy Suspension sells them.

On my vehicle I experimented with different combinations until I found what I liked.

In the FRONT I ended up with stock bar & bushings, but changed to stiffer urethane endlinks.

In the REAR, I've got stiffer bar & bushings, but kept the stock soft rubber endlinks. (I did try stiff endlinks, but removed 'em).

It deals with the ability to recover from the slip angle in a turn. The problem I found is that when the entire rear is bushed with urethane and the entire front is bushed with rubber, it tends to make the vehicle more prone to a dangerous snap-oversteer at the exit of a turn. IMO, if the front and rear are bushed more evenly, the vehicle will "hook back up" more gracefully at the exit.

#5 Reason01

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 02:07 PM

So what I can understand is, that I just need to find out what i think feels best with my car? I just what to stiffen the car for quick sharp turns and high speed long turns.

#6 blitz

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 07:48 PM

Well, a part of it is gonna depend on how much money you want to spend and how uncomfortable of a ride quality you can deal with. If it's a daily driver, you'll get tired of a rock-hard ride in a hurry.

For the most part, a tire upgrade, and a stiffer than stock adjustable rear sway bar is all that you'll need to bring street performance up to a "crisp" level. Making the rear bar stiffer lessens the understeer, while going stiffer yet will actually make it oversteer. Ideally you want to get it to feel "balanced" to your taste.

The problem with going to a stiffer front bar is that you'll have to go stiffer yet on the rear bar to get it feeling neutral again. Bars too stiff can overpower the rebound damping of the stock struts and cause jumpy handling characteristics at the limit especially on bumpy pavement. The solution would be to fit struts with a higher rebound damping rate. You'd run into the same problem by fitting springs that have a higher rate than stock.

#7 Reason01

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 11:38 PM

I have KYB-GR2 struts and H&R springs, Im ordering STi strut top mounts. I will also install a Cusco front and rear strut braces. So if I dont go too big with the sway bars I should have a stiffer ride, but not tto much to alter the steering?

#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 07:44 AM

If those springs lower the car much, and you plan to replace the strut mounts, why not get some Noltecs or other adjustables? You will probably need to bring the rear camber back towards zero and ,fi so, will end up buying camber bolts anyway. How much will the springs lower the car?

#9 Reason01

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 09:36 AM

The springs lower the car 1.25" in the front and 1.0" in the rear. Are you telling me that I should get adjustable strut mounts? I know Cusco has some, but they are pricey.

#10 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 04:46 PM

OK - first make no mistake - I have no experience with this, I hope others here do. BUT, from a lot of reading here and on other forums, what happens when you lower the car, is the geometry of the susp. chages. And by design, when the body comes down, the camber increases (sorta like leaning the tires out to counteract centrifugal force going a round a corner - they way a bike leans into the corner) I guess it's actually called negative camber. Now, that may not be a problem if you drive agressively and use the neg camber to 'balance' the handling of your car. Try reading in the approprate forums and doing searches over at www.nasioc.com and www.i-club.com and even www.subaruoutback.org . There are basiaclly 2 ways to bring your camber back towards '0' . can\mber plates or camber bolts(for the rear). I don't know howmuch camber, if any you want or if the front colts have enough range to bring the fronts back to '0'. Actually, running 1-1.5 or more in the frin and .5-1 or so in the rear, with appropriate toe adjustment, should be OK for some 'agressive' driving. Much more that that, or for a 'grocerry getter' and you're gonna get inside tire wear. The camber plates give the chance to make changes between daily driving and 'track days'.

#11 Reason01

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 01:27 AM

There is a company called Gold-Line. They make adjustable camber bolts that adjust from 1.5-2.0 degrees. Now is that for only the back? or is it for the front too? I dont want inside tire wear. For now the car is a daily driver. So after I lower it, what can I do for a balance wear on the tires?

#12 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 07:55 AM

I think the front will adjust . I do think you'll need camber bolts to bring the rear back in. Toe is the most important to prevent wear, but on a 'sedately driven' grocery-getter, excessive neg. camber could lead to uneven wear. Talk to the guys where you get the springs and maybe to your alignment shop. Any shop doing a'ments on sporty cars will be well aware of the issue. If they can't get the camber back to '0', probably anything under neg 1 deg won't be a problem. Toe MUST be 0 in the front, performance drivers sometimes have 1-2 or so toe out in the rear - but 0/0 should be the goal for you I'd guess.
When you get it lowered post a pic for us OK?

#13 Reason01

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 09:00 AM

Yea I'll post a pic for you. Where would I post it, in here?

#14 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 12:50 AM

we have a gallery but one of the mods or an faq somewhere will need to explain how to use it.

Over at www.nasioc.com there is a frequent poster called uncle scotty that seems very experienced with suspension mods in Imprezas, you could try bouncing you ideas/goals off him. But he likes negative camber.




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